Disney World – Chosen for Extra Security Screening

Epcot in SummerYou may have heard about Walt Disney World’s new park security screening involving the use of walk-through metal detectors.  In December of 2015, Disney began to randomly screen guests entering Disney World’s four parks.  Initially, this screening is (was?) being conducted by a third party company until Disney is able to hire, train and implement their own in-house screening process.  Certainly for many Disney fans, this latest reminder of the outside reality of mass shootings and other acts of violence signaled a certain loss of innocence for Disney World and Disney park guests – an intrusion on the carefully crafted magic that makes a Disney vacation particularly special.  I have something to say about this based on recent experience.

I’ll admit it – when I first heard about metal detectors being installed near the bag-check areas of Disney World parks I was sad.  The units would detract from the beauty of the park entrances, the reminder of the real world would negatively impact my enjoyment of the Disney Bubble.  Heck, the lines would move slower and take much longer.  Nothing good would come of this…except safety and added peace of mind, that is.  This is the world we live in today.  How horrible would it be if our favorite vacation destination became tainted with tragedy?  I’m all for this new security screening and, after having experienced it myself, can tell you it is absolutely no big deal.Chosen-One-Pin

I was chosen for extra security screening.  Raymond and I came down the monorail ramp, making our way to the entrance for Epcot.  As is our custom, Raymond went on through the entrance for guests without bags while I headed for the bag-check area.  Once my bag had been inspected, I started forward looking for Raymond when I security guard addressed me by saying, “You’ve been chosen for extra security screening, Princess, please step this way.”  I was asked to place my bag on a table and step through a metal detector (with no wait).  I retrieved my bag and was on my way in mere seconds.  This was no major inconvenience – nor even a minor one.  It was a less than a minute of time and absolutely no big deal.  The screening personnel were professional yet friendly and being called “Princess” didn’t hurt my feelings either.Disney-World-Security-Screening

I’ve heard much feedback on social media about Disney’s newest security measures.  Many remarks involve mixed feelings and criticisms about the process.  I’m all for anything necessary to keep my family and our memories safe.  I hope Disney continues to develop and implement whatever screening processes are necessary in the volatile and complex world we’re living in today.

What are your thoughts on the new Disney World metal detectors?  Should Disney be doing more?  Is this newest protocol too much?  Please leave a comment.


13 thoughts on “Disney World – Chosen for Extra Security Screening

  1. We have been here all week! I was chosen the first day at EPCOT and had no idea what was going on. My dad was chosen as well. Since then, my dad has been chosen every single day except today when my brother in law was chosen. I do appreciate the extra security measures. Coming from a military family our dad has always (unknowingly) kept us on alert for any suspicious behavior and figuring out ways to handle different emergencies- so naturally, the 9 previous Disney vacations we’ve had I’ve always been a little more nervous. It’s definitely reassuring to see Disney taking these steps to ensure everyone has a great experience. As always it’s done in a professional, and “Disney” manner! I hope they keep it up.

  2. If you wish to to blame the measures of security on someone then focus it on those that want to harm you and your family. The random selections are due to them not being what is called %100. Speaking with the sheriffs there they said is it to at least have some blanketing and they choose the 3rd or 4th person off the check lines and there are a lot more guards doing it now. So I guess you being picked a lot more should give you a piece of mind and if anything be disappointed that you where not getting chosen if at all. I would rather be inconvenienced for a few more minutes rather than become a victim of some crazy person that did not get selected who was stopped or scared away from the process. Maybe being a retired Marine my mind set is different. So what you got selected again deal with it and go into the parks and have fun.

    • I was more than happy to comply. It took very little time, everyone working security was extremely pleasant and I am certainly comforted by the extra measures being taken.

  3. I just got back from 8 days at Disney. I was chosen at every park (sometimes twice if I hit 2 parks in one day), while my three friends were always told they didn’t have to go. I was fine with it, but by day 8 of the same thing, I felt really uncomfortable. Was their criteria 20s something guy? The only thing I could think of was my size — 5’11 and 230lbs, but even so… Every park while my friends, (2 same height but all 3 smaller in stature) were always told not to follow me…?

    I am sad to admit that my last day at Magic Kingdom was a little ruined by the “Random” selection process — albeit it’s my own insecurity that is ultimately to blame for a rotten day…But still.

    • I keep hearing stories just like yours, Kyle! If you get a survey from Disney, be sure to voice your unhappiness. I’m an average-sized middle-age woman & have only been stopped the one time. Headed to WDW in 2 weeks with my husband and 5 young adults (all in their 20’s)…curious to see how it goes. I’ll report back. Thanks for stopping by! -Lisa

  4. I just returned from 10 days at Walt Disney World with my family. Without fail, my husband (white) or I (not) were selected for extra screening. You are right. No biggie. I want safety for all. But it was a bit annoying. So, I pretended to my kids that it was a compliment and I was thrilled at having been hand-selected! But by day 5 of it, I admit it was just annoying. But I kept smiling!

    • I’ve heard from several people now who have been selected repeatedly and I agree- it would bug me too! I wonder what the screeners are using as criteria. I’ll be going back in a few weeks in a travel party of 7 adults & am curious to see if any of us are chosen regularly.

  5. Personally I felt their screening was discrimitating against middle aged white people. My sister, bro in law, wife and I were” randomy “checked at every park. Had to take turns watching the kids as we got screened.. The line was filled with white people. I did not see any line with minorities or foreigners especially those wearing the burka .. it was complete bs. Some old white people were checked but not once did children get checked.. those walking in w/o bags were not checked either.. they didn’t like me questioning why there was only white people on the line.. I think they chose whites since they are less likely to complain or oppose the checks.. everyone should be checked not random white people that look like they don’t pose any threat.. where are the dog’s at the gate too.. I saw 1 the whole week there and he was out by the buses not near people.. he looked like he should have been retired yrs ago… there screening process is just for show and doesn’t protect anyone…

    • I have heard similar comments from others. One man I know was, like you, checked many times. I’ve heard the screening is even more thorough now & I’ll be interested in seeing how it is when I’m there in a few weeks traveling in a party of 7 adults.

  6. I got “chosen” twice yesterday. Once outside AK, and once outside the side entrance to EPCOT. (From boardwalk)

    My issue is, regardless of how secure they think thEy, if someone wanted to sneak a weapon in, they easily could. Their bag check is laughable. And all the honest, good people that play by the rules, would be defenseless.

    • It IS a little scary. I’m relying on what I can’t see – I feel certain there are measures in place to maximize security & minimize risk. True or not, it makes me feel better.

  7. I too got chosen for the extra screening, at animal kingdom. I agree that it was quick and painless, however I was a little perplexed and maybe a little offended. Did I look like the type to have weapons?? what does that type of person even look like?? Lol.

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